March 31, 2018 - 10:05 am - Posted in Obituaries

John Humme age 87, of Boyden, Iowa who passed away on Friday, March 30, 2018 at Orange City Area Health in Orange City.  His funeral service will be 10:30 A.M. on Monday, April 2, 2018 at United Presbyterian Church in Boyden with Pastor Andrew Hilla officiating. Burial will be at Sheridan Township Cemetery in Boyden.

Visitation with family present will be from 3 – 5 P.M. on Sunday, April 1, 2018 at Vander Ploeg Funeral Home in Boyden.

The Vander Ploeg Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

March 30, 2018 - 6:24 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — The filing date has come and gone for candidates to get their names on the ballot for the June 5th, 2018 Iowa Primary, and some area candidates are facing challenges.

In Sioux County, two people are running for the Republican nomination for Board of Supervisors, District 2. They are Arlyn Kleinwolterink and Jerry Muilenburg, both of Orange City. There are five candidates running for the GOP nomination for Board of Supervisors, District 5, which is in the Hull and Rock Valley area. They are Ted Salazar, Carl Vande Weerd, Warren Vander Pol, Ken Nielsen, and Howard J. Van Ginkel. There are also three candidates who want to be the Republican nominee for County Recorder in Sioux County. They are Kathleen Mulder and Kathyrn C. Wetter, both of Orange City, and Jessica Kooiker of Boyden. County Attorney Thomas Kunstle and County Treasurer Randall J. Jacobsma are both running unopposed for the Republican nomination to their offices. At the county level, no Democrats filed for their party’s nomination in Sioux County.


March 30, 2018 - 6:21 pm - Posted in News

Sioux Center, Iowa — Republican Congressman Steve King’s supporters and opponents gathered in Sioux Center on Thursday night as the “Sioux County Conservatives” hosted King at a public event. Steve Mahr helped organize a protest outside the venue, before the meeting began.

King later responded to the assertion he doesn’t represent the views of Iowans in the fourth congressional district.

During Thursday night’s forum, King was asked to explain a comment posted on his campaign’s Facebook page that criticized one of the students who survived the Florida school shooting. It accused Emma Gonzalez of betraying her Cuban heritage by speaking in favor of gun restrictions during her speech at last week’s march in Washington. That Facebook post motivated Mahr and others to protest King Thursday night.

King says his campaign is using Facebook to provide “a rebuttal” to what he says are the “irrational arguments” about guns being made by Gonzalez and other high school students.

King spoke with reporters after his supporters AND opponents attended the meeting in the Sioux Center library.

March 30, 2018 - 1:36 pm - Posted in Sports

Des Moines Iowa — The IGHSAU has released the preseason soccer rankings for the year. In Class 1A Sioux City Heelan is ranked number 9 with Western Christian in the 14 spot. In Class 2A Spencer comes in at number 7.

2018 Preseason Soccer Rankings
Compiled by the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union
Class 1A
1 Davenport Assumption 19-2
2 Center Point-Urbana 17-5
3 Iowa City Regina 7-13
4 North Polk 17-3
5 Waterloo Columbus 14-5
6 Tri-Center 17-3
7 Denver 17-4
8 Gilbert 16-4
9 Sioux City Bishop Heelan 9-8
10 Nevada 14-5
11 Pella Christian 15-5
12 Council Bluffs St. Albert 9-10
13 Underwood 12-5
14 Western Christian 12-8
15 Bondurant-Farrar 10-9

Class 2A
1 Lewis Central 19-3
2 Waverly-Shell Rock 14-5
3 North Scott 12-7
4 ADM 18-3
5 Norwalk 15-5
6 Cedar Rapids Xavier 12-5
7 Spencer 12-3
8 Pella 16-2
9 Newton 13-5
10 Council Bluffs Thomas Jefferson 13-5
11 Union 18-3
12 Central DeWitt 13-5
13 Marion 10-6
14 Dallas Center-Grimes 8-9
15 Burlington Notre Dame/West Burlington 16-2

Class 3A
1 Ames 17-3
2 Waukee 11-7
3 West Des Moines Valley 16-4
4 Ankeny Centennial 16-4
5 Cedar Rapids Kennedy 13-6
6 Johnston 10-7
7 Dowling Catholic 12-6
8 Bettendorf 17-3
9 Ankeny 11-8
10 Iowa City West 19-2
11 Linn-Mar 12-7
12 Pleasant Valley 12-7
13 Sioux City East 13-6
14 Iowa City High 12-6
15 Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln 15-5

March 30, 2018 - 10:23 am - Posted in News

Hawarden, Iowa– A storage shed and its contents were damaged in a fire on Thursday, March 29, 2018, in Hawarden.

According to Hawarden Fire Chief Duane Schiefen, about 8:45 p.m., the Hawarden Fire Department was called to the report of an unknown fire. He says it was at 1712 Avenue F in Hawarden.

The chief says the fire department saw smoke and flames coming from the shed as they approached the scene. He says they used water to fight the fire.

Schiefen says no injuries were reported.

He says that the Ireton Fire Department gets paged to all structure fires in Hawarden through an agreement he calls “Auto Aid,” but he says when Hawarden firefighters got to the scene, they told Ireton they could turn around.

He says a boy admitted to playing with matches before the fire, which probably started the blaze. The chief says the family was attending church services when the fire was called in by a neighbor.

Chief Schiefen reports that there was moderate to extensive damage to the older 15 x 20-foot shed. He says the insurance company may decide it was a total loss, but that’s yet to be determined.

He says they used between 150 and 200 gallons of water to fight the fire, and the 29 firefighters and one student firefighter who responded were on scene for about an hour.

Schiefen says firefighters and parents need to remind children not to play with matches.

Sioux Center and Sibley, Iowa — Sibley-Ocheyedan is going to lose a high school principal, but Sibley-Ocheyedan’s loss is Sioux Center’s gain.

According to Sioux Center Community Schools Superintendent Pat O’Donnell, current Sibley-Ocheydan High School Principal Brent Town has been hired to be the high school principal at Sioux Center High School. O’Donnell says Town has been the principal for grades 7-12 at Sibley Ocheyedan for the last five years and was at MOC/Floyd Valley before that for seven years as a teacher, an assistant activities director, and a coach.

O’Donnell says Town and his wife, Chelsea, have four younger children. He says Town will start in early August 2018.

He says the position became available after O’Donnell announced his retirement and current Sioux Center High School Principal Gary McEldowney was hired to fill the superintendent chair.

According to O’Donnell, Town was hired during the March meeting of the Sioux Center Board of Education.

Sibley-Ocheyedan superintendent Bill Boer says the search is underway to find Town’s replacement at Sibley-Ocheyedan High School. He says they’ve posted the position to the Teach Iowa website and other locations. Boer says the listing will close on April 4th, at which time they will do screening and reference checking. He says they hope to do interviews April 9th through the 12th.

March 29, 2018 - 10:00 am - Posted in Sports

Zach Rosson was the walk off hero in the bottom of the 9th to give Northwestern the 4-3 win. Mitchell Kresnik led the team with two hits none bigger than being the guy to start the rally in the bottom of the 9th inning. Michael Callahan got the Raiders on the board in the 1st inning with his two run blast. Reed Smith, Dustin Gaither, AJ Nitzschke all had hits in the game.

Noah McBride started game one of the doubleheader. McBride pitched well as he took a shutout into the 7th. McBride took a no decision as Dordt scored three in the seventh to tie it up. McBride goes 6 1/3 innings, five hits, three runs, three walks, and seven strikeouts. Tanner Ortlund recorded the last two outs of the 7th. Ortlund loaded the bases with no one out in the top of the eighth, when Mason O’Donnell came in and struck out the three batters he faced to stop the Dordt threat. O’Donnell pitched another scoreless inning in the 9th which led to him being the winning pitcher.

Northwestern scored two runs in the 2nd inning when AJ Nitzschke hit a sac fly scoring Dustin Gaither from third base, and when Colton Harold walked with the bases loaded to score Mitchell Kresnik. Things got crazy in the 3rd inning when Matt Martin led off the inning with a bunt single. Christian Stekl followed Martin’s bunt single with one of his own. After Dustin Gaither reached base by error which Martin scored, Mitchell Kresnik got in on the action with another bunt single. With the bases loaded game one walk off hero Zach Rosson ripped a bases clearing double. AJ Nitzschke wanted in on the action with a bunt single of his own. Reed Smith couldn’t get a single out of his bunt attempt, but picks up a RBI scoring Britton Yoder and moving Nitzschke to second base. That was all the offense the Raiders would muster but the eight runs would prove to be enough. Raiders totaled eight runs, on eight hits, while walking five times, and striking out eight times en route to the 8-1 victory.

Victor Mena made the start in game two. Mena pitched five scoreless innings, while setting his career high in strikeouts with ten. Mena only allowed four hits and walked three in the fantastic outing. Josh Lucken pitched a scoreless 6th inning. Tanner Ortlund pitched the final frame recording two strikeouts and giving up the games only run for the Defenders.

Northwest Iowa — Three northwest Iowa communities rate in the Top 10 for Most Tax-Friendly Towns in the state of Iowa, according to the website

The website’s study named Orange City as #4, with Sheldon coming in at #7, and Le Mars at #9.

To find the cities with the most tax-friendly policies for retirees, looked at how the tax policies of each city would impact a retiree with a $50-thousand income. Their hypothetical retiree is getting $15-thousand from Social Security benefits, $10-thousand from a private pension, $15-thousand from retirement savings like a 401(k) or IRA and $10-thousand in wages.

To calculate the expected income tax this person would pay in each location, the website applied deductions and exemptions. This included the standard deduction, personal exemption and deductions for each specific type of retirement income. They say they then calculated how much this person would pay in income tax at the federal, state, county and local levels. Average property taxes paid were also calculated.

In order to determine sales tax burden the study estimated that 35% of take-home (after-tax) pay is spent on taxable goods. they multiplied the average sales tax rate for a city by the household income less income tax. That product is then multiplied by 35% to estimate the sales tax paid.

For fuel taxes, they first distributed statewide vehicle miles traveled down to the city level using the number of vehicles in each county, then calculated miles driven per capita in each city. Using the nationwide average fuel economy, they calculated the average gallons of gas used per capita in each city and multiplied that by the fuel tax.

For each city they also determined whether or not Social Security income was taxable.

Finally, they created an overall index weighted to best capture the taxes that most affect retirees.

Here is the complete Top 10 List of Most Tax-Friendly Iowa Cities For Retirees:
#1 – Eldridge, IA
#2 – Algona, IA
#3 – Carroll, IA
#4 – Orange City, IA
#5 – Asbury, IA
#6 – Clive, IA
#7 – Sheldon, IA
#8 – Bondurant, IA
#9 – Le Mars, IA
#10 – Iowa City, IA

For more information, visit the website.

March 28, 2018 - 9:56 am - Posted in News

Hull, Iowa — A local Christian High School FFA chapter says they have received a donation from a pipeline company.

Kylie Miller, Ag instructor and FFA Sponsor for the Western Christian High School FFA chapter tells us that Dakota Access Pipeline LLC gave a donation to the Iowa FFA Foundation and it has been split up among the FFA Chapters along the pipeline route.

She says Western is pleased to have received a commitment for a gift of $1,427 from the pipeline company.

She tells us how Western Christian FFA plans to use these funds.

Miller says the funding will also be used to buy other materials and equipment that is needed for the agricultural courses that are taught at Western Christian. She says that using the donation in these areas will positively impact members because it will provide “hands-on” learning opportunities. She says that opportunities that involve working with your hands are essential to an agricultural program and vital to encouraging students to develop agricultural skills that can be used in the future.

Miller says the Western Christian FFA program is a fairly young program.

Miller says word of the gift came recently from the Iowa FFA Foundation.

March 28, 2018 - 9:54 am - Posted in News

Sioux Center, Iowa — A tech retail and repair business in Sheldon and Orange City is expanding into Sioux Center.

Wayne Barahona and Jon Hellinga own SuperHiTech. Barahona tells us about the business.

He says they’ve been poised for expansion for a while and have done their research into the Sioux Center market.

Barahona tells us that their Sioux Center location is on the west side of the street in the block just north of the downtown stoplight — northeast of the Centre Mall.

He says that while they started out as mainly a computer store, they continue to change with the times.

Barahona says their tech Tony Altena will be taking the lead at the new store, but both Barahona and Hellinga will be helping as well. He says they’re also going to hire new techs for the Sioux Center location.

He reminds us that while they will have a retail and service location in downtown Sioux Center, much of their business is what he calls “technology house calls,” in which a technician comes to your location to troubleshoot or install equipment. He says they handle everything from a printer not working at someone’s home up to managing corporate IT structures for large businesses.

Barahona tells us that their Sioux Center location at 317 North Main Avenue in Sioux Center will be open from 9 to 6, Monday through Friday and from 9-1 on Saturdays. He says they hope to open in May. For more information, you can go to or visit them on Facebook.